Southport – November 17, 2016
Jimmy, of Wildlife Bait and Tackle, reports that speckled trout fishing has been hot inshore, with boats limiting out. Anglers looking for the trout bite should check in and around creeks like Wildlife, Waldon’s, and Dutchman. MirrOlure MR17s are working well, and those looking to use soft plastics should try Z-Man Trout Tricks in fried chicken color. Early in the morning and late in the evening, topwaters have been working well, with anglers finding success with Zara Spooks, Top Dog, and Badonk-A-Donks.
Red drum fishing has stayed consistent, with a few large bull reds still being landed, along with scattered in-slot reds. The reds are biting a variety of options, including cut bait, mud minnows, Gulp, and spoons. Falling Tide lures are working well, too.
Black drum are chewing on bottom rigs baited with shrimp. Many keepers in the 14-25” range are being reported.
Flounder fishing hasn’t been strong, with one or two fish caught in the area. The fish landed have been anywhere from 1.5-4 lbs.
There are some spanish and bluefish being caught off the beach, but the nearshore bite for kings has slowed. Those looking for king action should head further offshore and try areas like the Shark Hole and Lighthouse Rock.
Angie, of Dutchman Creek Bait and Tackle, reports that anglers are starting to connect with spots here and there (along with whiting) in the surf and off the piers.
Those targeting bigger fish in the area are still connecting with a stray citation-sized red drum, too.
The trout bite is on like wildfire, and since the shrimp are leaving the area, anglers should turn to artificials. X-Raps, Vudu shrimp, and Savage shrimp are all working on the specks.
Mark, of Angry Pelican Charters, reports that the king mackerel bite has been fantastic with water temps hovering in the low 70s, and there is plenty of bait holding in 60-70′ of water. There are still a number of larger kings working the beach and nearshore structure, with tide changes triggering the better bite.
Offshore the kings are smaller, but there are some heavier fish running with those schools of smaller fish. Utilize your downrigger, as the larger fish are holding 20-30’ below the surface. Dead bait on Blue Water Candy Wedgies will get the job done.
Wally, of Oak Island Charters, reports that anglers are connecting with speckled trout and black drum. Target the specks in the area with live shrimp under a cork. Those wanting to hook up with the plentiful black drum in the area should use shrimp on a Carolina rig.
Ryan, of Fugitive Charters, reports that the trout bite has been on fire in the backwater, and they are biting on everything. Both artificials and live bait have connected anglers with the specks, but the best time to fish for them is the early morning and late evening, during the last hour of light on either side.
Anglers are reporting black drum biting frozen shrimp, but many of them are undersized.
Lots of reds (most puppy drum) are being hooked in the backwater. Those looking for the larger bull reds should head to the beach, where a few fish can still be found around bait pods.
Further offshore, kings are in the 15 mile range, but with the colder weather expected, they should move out to around 25 miles.
Bottom fishing has been great, with grouper, beeliners, pink snapper, and large black sea bass being landed.
Steve, of Ocean Crest Pier, reports that the fishing has been slow, with whiting and pinfish reported here and there. Every once in a while a citation-sized big red has still been landed.